Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Saturday banned two Islamist groups – the National Thowheed Jamath and the Jammiyathul Millathu Ibrahim – six days after serial blasts in the island country killed at least 253 people. All activities of these organisations will be stopped and their property seized by the government, adaderana.lk reported.
Nine suicide bombers had carried out a series of blasts at churches and luxury hotels on Easter Sunday on April 21. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Sri Lankan investigators have blamed the National Thowheed Jamath for the attacks. They have also accused the Jammiyathul Millathu Ibrahim of assisting the National Thowheed Jamath.
The president’s Media Division said that steps are being taken to prohibit other extremist groups operating in the country under the emergency provisions. The president had imposed an emergency in the country last week following the blasts.
Meanwhile, the Islamic State terrorist group on Saturday claimed that three suspects who blew themselves up during a gun battle with the police in Kalmunai city last week were members of their organisation, the SITE Intelligence Group reported. The terrorist group said the deceased were Abu Hammad, Abu Sufyan and Abu al-Qa’qa, PTI reported. As many as 15 people had been killed in the shootout, including three children.
The Indian government on Saturday issued an advisory asking citizens not to undertake non-essential travel to Sri Lanka. As per the advisory, those planning to travel to Sri Lanka on an emergency basis can contact the Indian High Commission in Colombo, the Assistant High Commission in Kandy and consulates in Hambantota and Jaffna for any assistance.